Dr. Frankenstein could never resuscitate his bolt-necked monster without a little bit of electricity.
Think of Temple coach John Chaney as Dr. Frankenstein.
On more than one occasion, Owls guard Brian Polk has been the jolt of electricity that has helped Chaney get his North Philadelphia monster off its feet.
Now, who knows what will happen to this team that was pronounced dead in December?
With a little luck, Temple could win the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
The Owls (13-14, 10-6 A-10) will face Richmond at 2 p.m. this afternoon in a quarterfinal matchup.
The Spiders embarrassed Temple, 61-42, in Richmond back on Jan. 11.
It would be fair to say that the Owls have improved dramatically since then.
Two months ago, no one would have thought it possible that a struggling Temple team would have a shot at winning the A-10 title.
Now, it seems, they do.
But to complete this gargantuan task, the Owls would most likely have to go through 11th-ranked Xavier, No. 22 Dayton and No. 25 Saint Joseph’s.
Polk’s shooting (he’s hitting on 35 percent of his three-point attempts) and rebounding (4.0 per game) would certainly be a huge help.
Since he arrived at Temple, there has been plenty of talk about Polk’s offensive talent and athleticism.
Last year, he was named A-10 Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 8.5 points and four rebounds a game and shooting 34 percent from three-point range.
The junior-to-be out of southern Delaware’s Sussex Tech High School seemed primed for a breakout season, but Polk would have to wait a while to showcase his stuff again.
At the outset of the season, Polk was academically eligible by NCAA standards.
But that wasn’t good enough for Chaney, who decided to hold out Polk for the fall semester anyway to make sure his academics were in order.
Polk’s season debut came against Illinois on Dec. 14 at the United Center.
He resumed his role of being Chaney’s first option off the bench.
And when freshman forward Antywane Robinson suffered a sprained ankle in a win over North Carolina State at the Liacouras Center last month, Polk was inserted into the starting lineup.
Since then, Polk has led the team in scoring in four of the last five games, averaging 18.4 points per game during that span.
“We are just being confident, as far as shooting, playing good defense, and doing what Coach asks,” Polk said. “I think we are on the right track.”
The Owls might be on the right track, but can they beat Xavier?
The Musketeers handed Temple a 96-65 whipping last Saturday at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.
“We are playing together,” Polk said. “We aren’t really worrying about the names of the teams. We are just going out and doing what we are supposed to do as a team.”
After last Thursday’s victory over La Salle, Chaney had some praise for Polk.
“I think the difference was Brian Polk,” Chaney said.
“He stole the ball a couple of times, and we were able to take advantage of that.”
Notice that Chaney focused on Polk’s defensive play.
“Everyone thinks I’m more of a scorer,” Polk said.
“But the truth is, I like defense better than offense.”
When asked of Polk’s role as of late, Chaney added, “He played a role he has played the last couple of years.
He’s a great shooter.
He runs plays like he is supposed to.
He is patient.
He gave us a lift, made good judgements, and got a couple good rebounds.”
Andrew Monaghan can be reached at ACTMONO@aol.com